Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degrees

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Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degrees

Postby Cy Kaicener » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:40 am

At approximately 2:00 PM the Palm Springs Mounted Police Search and Rescue were activated for a family of three hikers that were lost on the skyline trail. Once PSMP-SAR members made contact with the hikers via cell phone the call was upgraded to a dehydrated hiker call. Palm Springs Fire responded two engine crews to the skyline trail. When the RSO Star 9 helicopter came they were able to off load a deputy and they confirmed the dehydrated nature of the call and a PSMP-SAR member and fire paramedic were immediately airlifted to the patients on the mountain for patient care, as another PSMP-SAR member and two fire paramedics hiked up to meet the other hiker. RSO Star 9 helicopter transported two patients to DRMC and the other patient was transported via AMR. At this time there is no updated information on the patients.

The ambient air temperature on the mountain was 126.4°F

Agencies Involved: PSMP-SAR, PS FIRE, RSO Aviation, PSPD, and AMR.
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby Wildhorse » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:16 pm

Is anyone able to hike Skyline when the temperature is 126?
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby Perry » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:48 pm

The airport high was 116F, so unless they were over a bunch of very dark rocks, that was probably some exhaust from the helicopter going into a temp sensor or sunlight or infrared hitting the sensor.

Maybe a person could hike Skyline in these temps, if they carried ice equal to half their body weight and made an ice vest, then sprayed it and drank it as it melted. With a lot of salt of course. In the Badwater ultra, the runners are sprayed with water and have a support vehicle during the hottest part of the day which completely changes the nature of the race. That's totally different than going self-aided.
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby cynthia23 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:11 pm

I blame myself. In May I realized it was time for me to post my annual 'Don't hike Skyline in Summer' screed but I was too lazy. Look what happened. :(

Seriously, I mean … I almost got no words for this level of stupidity. Although the phrase 'thinning the herd' does come to mind. :roll:

When the coolest temperature of the day is 90 degrees at 4 a.m. … don't hike Skyline.
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby zippetydude » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:39 am

Too funny Cynthia! I was wondering when your Ominous Warning post would make its way to the board...as if anyone goofy enough to take on such a crazy endeavor would be deterred. btw, I know it may sound all but impossible, but I know one individual who used to do Skyline regularly even during summer and the temperature seemed to have no impact on them whatsoever. So, yes, there are just a few people who can do that and survive, seemingly unscathed. But that number is vanishingly small.

On a separate note, I will be out that way a few times (NOT doing Skyline!) in the next few weeks. If you would like me to drop off the book Deep Survivial with you (yep, I still remember that thread!) lmk and we could arrange a convenient time and place.

In the meantime, I hope everyone will enjoy hikes from the upper Tram where the temps are so much safer and the wilderness is beautifully cool rather than ferociously hot.

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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby Ed » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:24 am

cynthia23 wrote:I blame myself. In May I realized it was time for me to post my annual 'Don't hike Skyline in Summer' screed but I was too lazy. Look what happened. :(


First thing that occurred to me, Cynthia! But I got a grip on myself and didn't post my thoughts!

It does seem ominous that the party was referred to as a 'family of three'. Even if you think Skyline is ok in the summer for some people, a 'family of three' seems a far cry from a qualified party. And 'lost' suggests that they were first-timers.
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby guest » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 am

Thanks for posting Cy,

This just seems so idiot. I think this is a case were the guilty party should be charged. This puts SAR's folks at risk, helo's have a harder time flying, (making it more risky), and all those folks that had to leave their jobs, etc. As Cynthia mentioned, it's close to 90 at the trailhead at the coolest times, middle of the night, right now.
As Perry mentioned, you'd have to carry so much liquid, you've be exhausted by 4k.

To Wildhorse's question, I used to pick up Steve & Fernando at the tram around 8 or 8:30pm, after their would fairly regularly leave the Museum, dead of summer, around 4pm. Of course, Fern also would ride his bicycle from Indio before doing Skyline sometimes, and, do the dang trail barefoot, or the 2 of them climbing Skyline with 2-4 ft. of snow, did 3 Skylines back to back on Easter Sunday, so we're not talking about any ordinary folks.
With the recent increase in humidity, it's way easier to become over-heated. I sweat just going outside for 10 min. now, where I ride my bike in 100+ wx when dry, (lots of evap-cooling on the bike, compared to hiking).

Maybe make folks that attempt these stupid feats have to appear in front of a judge, or other person, (head of RMRU, PSPD, head Sheriff, something, maybe community service. Or, as Zip seems to do, just chock it up to another "teachable moment" (ha), experience, for those involved.

If their cell phones, or the helo weren't working, available, theses folks would have been in a world of hurt.
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby 2600fromatari » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:20 pm

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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby Ed » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:05 pm

Tragic. I would not hike the Bump and Grind in that heat. Wonder where they were. Evidently where they could not call 911. I am puzzled by why she had to be transported to Lake Arrowhead for treatment. A health care coverage issue?
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Re: Rescue on the Skyline Trail - Temperature over 120 degre

Postby cynthia23 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:48 pm

Dear God, this is horrific! Their child was like five or six and they brought him along???!! Someone in this family was profoundly, profoundly foolish. It's a miracle the child didn't die-- it appears the mom gave him all her water. It's absolutely incomprehensible the parents would think this hike was a good idea. I can only guess that they'd done the Desert Museum hike a few times and wrongly guessed that one hour of tough hiking in heat will result in the same amount of fatigue as four hours. Also, they probably wrongly thought the temperatures would decrease dramatically as they went up--I've met several people who had that delusion.

What a completely unnecessary tragedy. I'm sorry now I made a joke about it. It just goes to show you what an incredibly serious, unforgivably selfish decision it is to make this hike during the summer--because someone ELSE, like the mother of your child, can end up losing their life over it.
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